Neosho and area college students will have enhanced opportunities to advance their educations — including the chance to earn a bachelor degree without leaving a Crowder College campus.

Neosho and areas college students will have enhanced opportunities to advance their educations — including the chance to earn a bachelor degree without leaving a Crowder College campus.
Details expanding existing programs and firming up details for the future were inked in an agreement Thursday aligning Crowder College with Missouri State University. A signing ceremony was held on the Crowder campus with representatives of both institutions present.
Crowder College President Jennifer Methvin said the agreement translates into a variety of money and time saving benefitss.
“We’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with our university partners at Missouri State University that outlines the baccalaureate programs that our students can have access to right here on our Crowder College campuses and in our nine-county service area,” Methvin said.
“It means for students that if, for instance, they have their eye on getting certification in elementary education, they can do their first two years with Crowder College and continue on a Crowder College campus here at Neosho, or in Nevada or in Cassville to complete the second two years and complete their bachelor’s degree without leaving the area,” she said.
Through the alliance, Crowder students may pursue their bachelor degrees as follows:
•   B.S. in General Business (online)
•   B.S. in Nursing (online with a special program for qualified students called “Crowder BSN Scholars”)
•   B.S. in Elementary Education with Middle School or Early Childhood endorsements Available at Crowder campuses in Neosho, Cassville and Nevada.
•  B.A.S. in General Agriculture available on the Neosho campus.
Methvin said the pact between the two institutions should have a positive impact on the local economy too by shoring up and enhancing the overall education level without seeing students leave the area.
“It also lets us grow our own workforce,” she said. “We have people already invested in the area who have chosen to live here and don’t have the ability to leave the area to pursue a university degree. This makes it possible for them to get those options right here close to home.”
Methvin said a MSU staffer is housed on the Crowder campus and that information on the program is always available with assistance and direct advising is always here.
Many of the components outlined in the agreement signed Thursday have been in place with some students already benefiting from having upper level college courses available on Crowder campuses, she said. There are also a variety of online course offerings students can take advantage of.
“We actually already have quite a few graduates in the area who have already benefited and they think it is a fantastic model,” Methvin said.
 
The “Crowder BSN Scholars Program” for nursing provides Crowder students who qualify to take up to five upper-division MSU classes before they graduate with their associate degree of nursing from Crowder.

This opportunity helps the student to complete their degree more quickly, Methvin said.
 
Crowder College and Missouri State first offered the opportunity for students to pursue their bachelors degrees and remain on the Neosho campus in 2007 with general agriculture, business and elementary education. Upon the success of these programs, nursing was added as an online option in 2013, according to Crowder’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Glenn Coltharp.
“Partnerships between two schools should have one goal in mind: ‘what is best for students,’” Coltharp said. “The agreements we signed today met that goal.  We want to give our students as many high quality options after graduation as possible.”
Among the positive aspects of the program is that Crowder College students can nearly seamlessly move into MSU degree programs without causing life changes, he said.
Missouri State has Larry Nichols, outreach coordinator, located on the Crowder Neosho campus. He is available to work with students transferring to the university and may be reached at 417.455.5757.